Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Woody Allen|
|Written by||Woody Allen|
|Edited by||Alisa Lepselter|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Classics|
|Box office||$97.5 million|
Blue Jasmine is a 2013 American black comedy drama written and directed by Woody Allen. The film tells the story of a rich Manhattan socialite (played by Cate Blanchett) who falls into hard times and has to move into her sister's (Sally Hawkins) apartment in San Francisco. The film had a limited release on July 26, 2013, in New York and Los Angeles, before expanding wide on August 23, 2013.
Blue Jasmine received praise from the critics, particularly for Blanchett's performance. Blanchett won the Academy Award for Best Actress, and Hawkins and Allen were nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Original Screenplay, respectively. Blanchett also won the Golden Globe Award, the SAG Award, and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. The film was a box office success, earning $97.5 million worldwide against a budget of $18 million.
Jasmine Francis (Cate Blanchett) disembarks in San Francisco after a flight from New York City. She takes a taxi to her sister Ginger's (Sally Hawkins) apartment, where Ginger is dismayed to learn that Jasmine traveled first class despite claiming to be broke. Jasmine has recently suffered a nervous breakdown and, having incurred heavy debts, has been forced to seek refuge with her sister.
Jasmine is haunted by memories of her past life as a Manhattan socialite and the failure of her marriage to the suave financier Hal (Alec Baldwin). In a series of flashbacks, it is revealed that some years previously, Ginger and her working-class husband Augie (Andrew Dice Clay) visited New York, their first time there in many years. Jasmine provides a car and driver for them to tour the city and pays for a stay in a hotel to avoid spending any time with them. Ginger announces they have won $200,000 in the lottery, which Augie intends to use to start a construction business. However Jasmine offers Hal's help in investing the money instead, which Augie reluctantly accepts. While touring New York, Ginger sees Hal kiss another woman. The woman later appears at Jasmine's birthday party. Ginger debates whether to say anything to Jasmine but decides to stay quiet, aware that Jasmine might react badly to the suggestion that Hal is having an affair.
In the meantime, Hal was exposed to the authorities as a major fraudster running a ponzi scheme with his clients' money. He eventually commits suicide in prison after being publicly disgraced. Jasmine's step-son Danny (Alden Ehrenreich) drops out of Harvard and cuts himself off completely from Jasmine, believing her to be complicit in Hal's crimes. Ginger and Augie lost everything in the scheme and their marriage fell apart. To cope with the failure of her past life, Jasmine has developed alcoholism and an addiction to anti-anxiety medication. Moreover, she has a habit of babbling to herself and to others, reminiscing about her past life.
Ginger is now dating a mechanic called Chili (Bobby Cannavale), whom Jasmine detests for his low breeding and rude manner. She considers becoming an interior designer because of her "great taste" and past experience in decorating her homes. She wants to take online courses, but, having no computer skills, she decides to take a class in computers to gain basic proficiency. With no income, she grudgingly takes a job as a receptionist with a dentist (Michael Stuhlbarg), who pesters her with unwanted sexual advances. She fights him off and quits.
Jasmine's situation improves when she meets a wealthy widower, Dwight (Peter Sarsgaard), at a party. Dwight is a diplomat aspiring to become a Congressman. She poses as an interior designer, telling him that her husband was a surgeon who died of a heart attack. Dwight is impressed by her stylishness and invites her to decorate his new home. Ginger begins a romance with Al (Louis C.K.), whom she met at the same party. She breaks up with Chili, who begs her not to leave him. Eventually she finds out that Al is married and gets back with Chili, realizing she has been influenced by Jasmine.
Jasmine develops a romance with Dwight and he is about to buy her an engagement ring when they bump into Augie outside the jewelry store. Augie rails at Jasmine about what Hal did to Ginger and him. Augie also reveals that Danny is living nearby in Oakland and is now married. Dwight is outraged with Jasmine's dishonesty and calls off the engagement. Jasmine goes to Oakland and finds Danny, who tells Jasmine he never wants to see her again because of what she did to his father.
It is revealed that Jasmine finally learned of Hal's many affairs and confronted him. When he told her he wanted to divorce her to be with a teenage au pair, Jasmine, in a moment of blind rage, called the FBI to inform the authorities of Hal's fraudulent business dealings. This led to his arrest.
Jasmine returns to her sister's apartment and finds Ginger back with Chili, who is moving now in. Jasmine and Chili needle each other, and Jasmine is furious when Ginger takes his side. Jasmine lies to Ginger and claims she is going to marry Dwight. She leaves the apartment saying she will "send for her luggage." Jasmine, now totally unhinged, takes a seat on a park bench, speaking to herself once again about her past lifestyle, unaware of her surroundings.
- Cate Blanchett as Jeanette "Jasmine" Francis
- Sally Hawkins as Ginger, Jasmine's sister
- Alec Baldwin as Hal Francis, Jasmine's husband
- Peter Sarsgaard as Dwight Westlake, Jasmine's fiancé
- Louis C.K. as Al Munsinger, Ginger's lover
- Andrew Dice Clay as Augie, Ginger's ex-husband
- Bobby Cannavale as Chili, Ginger's fiancé
- Michael Stuhlbarg as Dr. Flicker, the dentist Jasmine works for
- Alden Ehrenreich as Danny Francis, Jasmine's stepson
- Tammy Blanchard as Jane, Jasmine's friend in the Hamptons
- Max Casella as Eddie, Chili's friend
In late March 2012, it was announced that Cate Blanchett was being considered for the lead role. This was later confirmed along with the rest of the principal cast in June 2012. In preparation for her role, Blanchett explained, "I did a lot of people watching. I drank my fair share of rosé. In the end I had to play the anti-heroine that Woody's written, but of course I thought about the Madoff scandal, because that's the holocaust of the financial crisis. And there are many, many women like that. I followed them like everybody else did, but as an actress you go back and you're slightly more forensic about those relationships."
The film was shot in 2012 in New York City and San Francisco. Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum, and Edward Walson served as the film's producers. Sony Pictures Classics distributed the film, marking the sixth collaboration between the label and Allen.
Woody Allen refused to release Blue Jasmine in India because the country requires a blurb to be inserted at the bottom of any scenes during which a character is smoking. This is in addition to health warnings that are required to be shown at the beginning and end of the film.
The film received a slow rollout, modeled after the release of Midnight in Paris; it was estimated to have grossed over US$600,000 in its first three days, which took place at six theaters in Los Angeles and New York City. It was Allen's "best-ever opening per-screen average" and the year's highest per-screen average, beating Spring Breakers' "impressive debut on three screens". The film grossed US$33.4 million in the U.S. and US$64.1 million in the rest of the world, resulting in a worldwide gross of US$97.5 million.
Early reviews suggested the film would be rated very highly among Allen's recent offerings, and praised Blanchett's performance as one of her strongest, if not the best of her career: David Denby of The New Yorker stated that "in all, this is the strongest, most resonant movie Woody Allen has made in years". Mick LaSalle, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote that "Blanchett in Blue Jasmine is beyond brilliant, beyond analysis. This is jaw-dropping work, what we go to the movies hoping to see, and we do. Every few years." Andrew Dice Clay's performance was also critically praised in the film.
Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 91%, with an average rating of 8 out of 10, based on 196 reviews. The film is considered a "Certified Fresh", with the site's consensus being "Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine finds the director in peak late-period form—and benefiting from a superb cast led by Cate Blanchett." On Metacritic, the film received a score of 78/100 based on 47 reviews.
Critics have stated that they believe the film is Allen's take, tribute or version of the Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire as it shares a very similar plot and characters. It also features cast members who have previously been associated with the play: Baldwin played the role of Stanley Kowalski on stage in 1992 and in the 1995 adaptation of the play, while Blanchett played the leading role of Blanche DuBois in the Australian production of the play staged by the Sydney Theatre Company in 2008. Other critics and cultural commentators argued that the story of Jasmine as a "shrill narcissist falling apart" and "in a crisis of self-flagellation after living in denial for years" was modeled on his former companion, Mia Farrow, and that the film is a "response" to their high-profile and acrimonious break-up.
Blue Jasmine was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 21, 2014.
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- Official website
- Blue Jasmine at the Internet Movie Database
- Blue Jasmine at Box Office Mojo
- Blue Jasmine at Rotten Tomatoes
- Blue Jasmine at Metacritic
- Blue Jasmine filming locations at Movieloci.com